Chicago Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton is hurting more than helping

aPITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Markus Wheaton
aPITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Markus Wheaton /

Chicago Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton has been ineffective early into 2017

The Markus Wheaton signing is starting to look questionable. Yes, he has been injured, not only in camp but on the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. Still, Bears quarterbacks are now 1-9 when looking Wheaton’s way through his first three games with the Bears, the catch going for four yards.

Crazily enough his run blocking is hurting the team more than his pass blocking. Take the play below for example. Harrison Smith essentially grabs Wheaton and tosses him aside to make an easy tackle. Wheaton couldn’t even stand in the way long enough to prevent Smith from holding him to a two-yard run.

Below, Wheaton shows he is just slower than Smith. Smith fills a gap and Wheaton cannot prevent him from closing off the backside and forcing Tarik Cohen out of bounds for no gain. Wheaton could be a little rusty from not seeing the field, but none of his injuries have been lower body. This is either that he is too slow or does not desire this part of the game.

Below we see Wheaton give minimal effort when trying to push Andrew Sendejo off of the line. Sendejo is able to loop around the back end of Jordan Howard and help bring him down for just a one-yard run.

Then, of course, the game-changing holding call. Early into the second quarter Jordan Howard broke a 42-yard touchdown run down the sideline. However, it was called back due to a holding

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by Wheaton. The drive resulted in a punt. It was a controversial call and could be described as a ticky tack call. However, as you can see, Wheaton is grabbing some jersey as he holds back the defender while Howard turns up the edge.

It is one thing that Wheaton is not making plays in the passing game. However, to be such a net negative in the run game is going to cost him playing time if this shows up on tape consistently. Hopefully, Wheaton is getting his game together, because six weeks into a two-year deal, it looks like he got the better of the Bears.